Convoy ON 67
Part of Battle of the Atlantic
Date21–25 February 1942
United States United States
Canada Canada
Commanders and leaders
United States Albert C. Murdaugh Admiral Karl Dönitz
39 freighters
4 destroyers
1 corvette
1 cutter
3 submarines
Casualties and losses
8 freighters sunk (54,750 GRT)
163 killed/drowned
Task Unit 4.1.5 commander's ship USS Edison.
Task Unit 4.1.5 commander's ship USS Edison.
USS Bernadou
USS Bernadou

Convoy ON 67 was a trade convoy of merchant ships during the Second World War. It was the 67th of the numbered series of ON convoys Outbound from the British Isles to North America. The ships departed from Liverpool on 14 February 1942[1] with convoy rescue ship Toward, and were escorted to the Mid-Ocean Meeting Point by escort group B4.[2]

The escort group

On 19 February the US naval task unit TU 4.1.5 assumed escort responsibility with Gleaves-class destroyers USS Edison and Nicholson, Wickes-class destroyers USS Lea and Bernadou and the Canadian Flower-class corvette HMCS Algoma.[3] Edison's commanding officer, Commander Albert C. Murdaugh, USN, was the senior officer of the escort group.[3] The escort group had never operated together before.[4] Bernadou had been modified for long range escort work by replacing the fourth boiler and stack with an extra fuel tank.[5] Nicholson had the only functional radar, though the merchant ship Toward could provide support with its High-frequency direction finding (HF/DF) set.[3] Lea carried a British ASV aircraft radar with fixed antennae, but the coaxial cable to the antennae was repeatedly shorted by salt water spray.[6] Edison had no depth charge throwers, and was limited to a linear pattern rolled off the stern.[7] The American ships did not have enough binoculars. Bernadou had a 7x50 pair for the officer of the deck and a 6x30 pair for the junior officer of the deck but there were none for the lookouts.[8]

The escort was reinforced on 26 February by the Treasury-class cutter USCGC Spencer.[9]


U-155 found and reported the convoy on 21 February.[10] Toward obtained a bearing on the contact report, and Lea searched the bearing unsuccessfully at dusk.[11] U-155 approached the port quarter of the convoy in the pre-dawn hours of 22 February and torpedoed the British tanker Adellen and Norwegian freighter Sama.[11][12] Both ships sank quickly.[11] Algoma rescued eleven of Adellen's crew of 31 while Nicholson and Toward found 20 survivors from Sama's crew of 50.[11][12] U-155 crash-dived to avoid Bernadou, but the destroyer never saw the U-boat.[11] U-155 made another emergency dive while shadowing the convoy at 1042 hrs, but Edison did not detect the U-boat. U-587, U-69 and U-558 found the convoy on 23 February.


U-558 approached the convoy at 2120, but repeatedly turned away to avoid Bernadou's patrols until a squall provided cover at midnight. U-558 torpedoed the Norwegian tanker Inverarder at 0045 hrs on 24 February.[12][13] The tanker sank slowly and Toward rescued all 42 of the crew. U-558 approached again at 0230 hrs and fired a single torpedo at Edison.[13] The torpedo missed, and Edison was unaware it had been fired at.[13] U-558 torpedoed the Norwegian tanker Eidanger at 0255 hrs.[13] U-558 reloaded and at 0550 hrs torpedoed the British tankers Anadara and Finnanger, and the British freighter White Crest.[12][14] All three ships straggled and were sunk. Later that morning, the convoy commodore sent a signal to the escort commander regarding the performance of U-558: "That chap must be one of their best ones. I do hope you have done him in."[7]


U-158 found the convoy at 0425 hrs on 24 February and torpedoed the British tanker Empire Celt.[13] Empire Celt was using the Admiralty Net Defence system, streaming a strong steel net from 50-foot (15 m) booms along either side of the ship.[15] One torpedo broke through the net and hit amidships.[16] Empire Celt later broke in half, but a tug from Newfoundland rescued 31 from the crew of 37.[16][9]

As U-558 was torpedoing ships on the starboard side of the convoy, U-158 approached the port side and torpedoed British tanker Diloma at 0635 hrs.[17] Diloma was the only one of the torpedoed ships to successfully reach Halifax.[9] Both U-158 and U-558 dived to avoid being seen in the early daylight.[18] U-558 found and sank the Eidanger, drifting and abandoned astern of the convoy, with gunfire and a torpedo.[18] All of Eidangers crew had been rescued.[12] Lea investigated a DF bearing from Toward at 1515 and spotted U-558 20 miles astern of the convoy at 1707 hrs. Lea dropped eight depth charges at 1746 hrs, and then surprised the U-boat on the surface at 1813 and dropped 14 depth charges at 1847 hrs. U-558 was undamaged.[19]

Nicholson investigated a DF bearing from Toward and sighted U-158 at 1323. U-158 dived and evaded Nicholson. Nicholson then slowed to listen. U-158 surfaced at 1550 hrs and was surprised to find Nicholson waiting 1,600 yards (1,500 m) away. U-158 crashed-dived before Nicholson saw the U-boat. U-158 surfaced again at 1817 and was surprised to find Edison 2,000 yards (1,800 m) away. U-158 again avoided detection by crash-diving. Edison finally spotted U-158 making another convoy approach at 2008 hrs and dropped 25 depth charges over the following six hours. U-158 was undamaged, but had been prevented from making further attacks on the convoy.[19]

Admiral Karl Dönitz, the BdU or commander in chief of U-Boats, ordered his U-boats to discontinue the attack on 25 February.[9]

The remainder of the convoy reached Halifax on 1 March 1942.[20]

Ships in convoy

Allied merchant ships

A total of 39 cargo vessels (37 merchant, 2 US Navy) joined the convoy, either in Liverpool or later in the voyage.[21][12]

Name Flag Dead Tonnage (GRT) Cargo Notes
Adellen (1930)  United Kingdom 36 7,984 In ballast Sunk by U-155 22 Feb
Anadara (1935)  United Kingdom 62 8,009 In ballast Sunk by U-558 & U-587 24 Feb
Belinda (1939)  Norway 8,325 Destination West Indies
Consuelo (1937)  United Kingdom 4,847 General cargo Destination New York City; survived this convoy and convoy HX 228
Cristales (1926)  United Kingdom 5,389 Carried convoy vice-commodore Capt R H R MacKay OBE; in collision 24 Feb; destination Halifax
Daghestan (1941)  United Kingdom 7,248 CAM ship; destination Halifax
Dekabrist (1903)  Soviet Union 7,363 Destination New York City
Diloma (1939)  United Kingdom 8,146 Damaged by U-158; made Halifax
Dolabella (1939)  United Kingdom 8,142 Destination Curaçao
Dromus (1938)  United Kingdom 8,036 Destination Curaçao
Eidanger (1938)  Norway 0 9,432 In ballast Sunk by U-558 24 Feb
Empire Celt (1941)  United Kingdom 6 8,032 In ballast Sunk by U-158 24 Feb
Empire Druid (1941)  United Kingdom 9,813 Destination Port Arthur
Empire (1941)  United Kingdom 8,134 Destination Baton Rouge
Empire Spray (1941)  United Kingdom 7,242 CAM ship; destination Halifax
Empire Steel (1941)  United Kingdom 8,138 Destination Port Arthur
Finnanger (1928)  Norway 39 9,551 In ballast Sunk by U-558 24 Feb
Glittre (1928)  Norway 6,409 Destination Aruba; survived to be sunk one year later in convoy ON 166
Gloucester City (1919)  United Kingdom 3,071 General cargo Destination Philadelphia
Hamlet (1934)  Norway 6,578 Joined from Iceland 19 Feb
Hektoria (1899)  United Kingdom 13,797 Destination New York City; survived to be sunk 7 months later in convoy ON 127
Idefjord (1921)  Norway 4,287 China clay Destination Saint John, New Brunswick
Inverarder (1919)  Norway 0 5,578 In ballast Sunk by U-558 24 Feb
Lancastrian Prince (1940)  United Kingdom 1,914 Destination New York City; survived this convoy and convoy HX 228
Manchester Exporter (1918)  United Kingdom 5,277 General cargo Carried Convoy Commodore Rear Admiral Sir O H Dawson KBE; destination Halifax
Mentor (1914)  United Kingdom 7,383 General cargo Destination Singapore
USS Mizar (1932)  United States Navy 6,982 US Navy stores ship, joined from Iceland 19 Feb
Nueva Andalucia (1940)  Norway 10,044 Destination Port Arthur
Orari (1931)  United Kingdom 10,350 China clay Destination Trinidad
USS Pleiades (1939)  United States Navy 3,600 US Navy dry cargo ship, joined from Iceland 19 Feb; survived this convoy and Convoy SC 107
Rapana (1935)  United Kingdom 8,017 Destination Curaçao
Sama (1936)  Norway 20 1,799 China clay Sunk by U-155 22 Feb
Skandinavia (1940)  Norway 10,044 Destination Aruba; survived this convoy and convoy ON 166
Strinda (1937)  Norway 10,973 Destination Key West
Stuart Prince (1940)  United Kingdom 1,911 General cargo Destination Halifax; survived this convoy and convoy HX 228
Thorhild (1935)  Norway 10,316 Destination Curaçao
Torr Head (1937)  United Kingdom 5,021 Destination Norfolk, Virginia
Toward (1923)  United Kingdom 1,571 convoy rescue ship
White Crest (1928)  United Kingdom 4,365 coal Straggled 18 Feb; sunk by U-558 24 February

Convoy escorts

A task unit of armed military ships, TU 4.1.5, escorted the convoy during its journey, joined later by a United States Coast Guard vessel.[3][21]

Name Flag Type Joined Left
HMCS Algoma (K127)  Royal Canadian Navy Flower-class corvette 19 Feb 1942
USS Bernadou (DD-153)  United States Navy Wickes-class destroyer 19 Feb 1942
USS Edison (DD-439)  United States Navy Gleaves-class destroyer 19 Feb 1942
USS Lea (DD-118)  United States Navy Wickes-class destroyer 19 Feb 1942
USS Nicholson (DD-442)  United States Navy Gleaves-class destroyer 19 Feb 1942
USCGC Spencer (WPG-36)  United States Navy Treasury-class cutter 26 Feb 1942

See also


  1. ^ Hague (2000) p. 157,
  2. ^ Rohwer & Hummelchen (1992) p. 114
  3. ^ a b c d Abbazia (September 1975) p. 50
  4. ^ Murdaugh (January 1976) p. 75
  5. ^ Joslin (February 1976) p. 80
  6. ^ Hagerman (February 1976) p. 80
  7. ^ a b Murdaugh (January 1976) p. 74
  8. ^ Joslin (February 1976) pp. 79–80
  9. ^ a b c d Abbazia (September 1975) p. 57
  10. ^ Rohwer & Hummelchen (1992) p. 125
  11. ^ a b c d e Abbazia (September 1975) p. 51
  12. ^ a b c d e f Hague (2000) p. 161
  13. ^ a b c d e Abbazia (September 1975) p. 53
  14. ^ Abbazia (September 1975) p. 54
  15. ^ Blair (1996) p. 510
  16. ^ a b Blair (1996) p. 511
  17. ^ Abbazia (September 1975) pp. 54–55
  18. ^ a b Abbazia (September 1975) p. 55
  19. ^ a b Abbazia (September 1975) p. 56
  20. ^ Hague (2000) p. 157
  21. ^ a b "ON convoys". Arnold Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 26 May 2011.